ANDERSON, Ind. – It was all about the defense on Wednesday, January 8, as the Lady Jacket basketball squad held the Anderson Ravens to 39 points in the mid-week Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference contest. Freshman Kelsey Tietje led DC with 16 points, 12 boards and three blocks, while senior Ashley Birchmeier came off the bench for 14 and eight.
The win gives the Purple and Gold its first victory in the Heartland Conference this season and ups its mark to 4-8, 1-4 HCAC. For the Ravens, they continue to struggle on the 2013-14 campaign and drop to 1-10, 0-5 HCAC.
It wasn't a close game for very long in the matchup between Defiance and Anderson. The Yellow Jackets got on the board first with a pair of free throws by Tietje (Deshler, Ohio / Patrick Henry) 15 seconds into the game and never looked back.
DC opened up the contest with the first 16 points, while blanking the Ravens to zero in the first nine-plus minutes of the game. It was a layup by AU's Jenna Wittenberg that broke the scoring drought for the home squad and made the score 16-2 Yellow Jackets with 10:44 left in the first half.
After five more minutes of play, Anderson cut the deficit to 13 at 24-11, but that was as close as it got the rest of the night. The Purple and Gold went on a 13-2 run, finished with an Erica King (Wauseon, Ohio / Pettisville) three pointer that gave Defiance a 37-13 advantage at the end of the first period.
It was the second-straight game that DC was able to lead at halftime, after not being able to go into intermission on top in the team's first 10 games. The Yellow Jackets were not able to hold onto that lead in its previous contest against Hanover, but they made sure they did not let that happen again versus the Ravens.
Defiance came out of the break and kept its foot on the gas, going on a 15-7 surge to open the second period and grab its biggest lead of the night at 52-20 with 10:47 remaining in the game. The comfortable advantage allowed the Purple and Gold to cruise to a 65-39 win.
Anderson's 39 points on 25.9 percent shooting were both season lows for the DC defense that has really stepped up as of late. It was the second-straight game and third in the last four that the Yellow Jackets had held the opponent to under a 30.0 percent clip from the field.
On the flip side, DC shot the ball well, with marks of 47.2 percent (25-of-53) overall and 36.0 percent (9-of-25) from long range.
Defiance also dominated on the glass, raking in 47 rebounds to the Ravens 25, which was also a season low for an opponent. Tietje was the leader in that department with 12 boards to go along with 16 points that gave the freshman center her fourth double-double in five games.
Another big reason for the successful trip to Indiana was that the Purple and Gold kept the turnovers to 18, which tied a season low. AU took care of the ball as well, only coughing up the rock 11 times on the night.
Coming up with a big game off the bench was Birchmeier (Vaughnsville, Ohio / Columbus Grove). Her 14 points and 8 boards were second on the squad only to Tietje. The senior forward was efficient with her play as well, going 6-of-10 from the field with zero turnovers in 24 minutes of action.
The Yellow Jackets will return to the Karl H. Weaner Center for its next game and first home contest of 2014. They will be battling the Rose-Hulman Fightin' Engineers (5-7, 3-2 HCAC) with a 1 p.m. scheduled start.